Here's a guide to crafting pitches that will wow editors
Want to impress an editor with a pitch? Here's a step-by-step guide you can follow to secure your next writing assignment.
Preparing a pitch is the first step to getting your article published. There is no better way to establish relationships with media or a client than offering a fresh well-crafted idea. At the same time, editors get dozens of proposals, and standing out is not an easy task.
The good news is that pitch writing (or, pitching) is a skill that comes with practice. Whether you are not sure where to start or want to increase your acceptance rate, there are proven strategies that work. We have prepared a step-by-step guide to make the process smoother and increase your chances to wow editors.
Choose topics that interest you
Choosing the right topic is at least half of the success. Most writers have their niches and areas of expertise. If you are not there yet, start with what you know.
Think of something you really want to tell the world. First, the editor will feel that you are truly enthusiastic. Secondly, you already have some knowledge of the topic. Finally, your chances of catching readers’ attention increase.
If you want to find out more about promising freelance writing niches, check out this article.
Do in-depth research
Once you have decided on a topic, it’s time to start gathering more in-depth information. Start with checking the website of the media you are planning to pitch to, and make sure the topic has not been covered yet. If it already has been broached, then look for a new and different angle to approach the issue with.
Pay attention to the media’s writing style and coverage areas. Showing an understanding of this will show the editor your professionalism and will be useful in making your article a good fit.
Next, read as much as possible about the topic. This will help you to decide how to tackle the story. Keep track of the websites you have visited to easily access them again.
Check what has been published on the topic in other media. Works of other writers can be a source of inspiration, but do not rely on them to produce your article. Instead, go deeper, and find original sources and experts.
Follow submission guidelines
Before you start writing an email to the editor, check the requirements of the pitch format. Even a strong pitch can be rejected if you do not follow the instructions.
Keep in mind that media have different audiences, styles, and niches, this is why there is no one-size-fits-all pitch template. If you pitch to various media, tailor your proposal to their needs.
Keep it short and simple
After conducting research, it might be tempting to show off your knowledge. But editors are busy people and do not have time to go into every little detail at the initial stage.
Your task, then is to spark their interest in what you plan to write about.
Start with introducing yourself, tell them why you’re writing, and give a clear summary of your pitch. You can include a hook to show that you understand their target audience or business needs and have something fresh to say.
For example, if you write about marketing, you can say: “Did you know that a majority of Gen Z consumers in Asia want brands to address social issues?”
Keep your pitch within two paragraphs and up to 500 words or less. Including main sources is a good idea, especially if they can give a piece of exclusive information.
Aim to fit everything in the email body. Editors don’t like attachments, because they want to get to the point quickly. Plus, your letter could end up in spam.
Proofread the email to avoid grammar and spelling mistakes, and you are good to go!
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